Independent filmmakers have long believed that the appeals board can be biased in favor of movies from the six large studios that are members of the trade group. Still, the only appeal for a 2012 film from an MPAA member, 20th Century Fox's R-rated "This Means War," did not succeed. Besides "Haywire," "Bully," "Killer Joe," "Sea Level" and "Perks," the group also heard appeals on "Apart" and "The Possession." After losing the appeal for the R-rated "The Possession," the filmmakers recut the thriller and received a PG-13 mark.
All of the media coverage surrounding appeals such as the one for "Bully" may have also shown filmmakers that appealing — while not certain to yield a new rating — is worth a shot.